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. Four killed, five wounded in US air raid in Fallujah: hospital
FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) Sep 18, 2004
A US air strike killed four people and left five wounded in Fallujah late Saturday, as the US military kept up its campaign of nightly attacks in the Iraqi rebel stronghold, a local hospital said.

The US military said a precision strike was carried out at 10:30 pmon an checkpoint in northern Fallujah operated by armed men with links to suspected Al-Qaeda operative Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi.

"Four people were killed and five wounded," said Dr Ali Hiad Mashadani at Fallujah General hospital.

The military claimed the targeted gunmen had abducted and murdered people at the checkpoint.

"Informants linked the checkpoint to kidnappings and executions in the Fallujah area," the military said in a statement.

"Evidence indicates Iraqi citizens have been kidnapped at such checkpoints, taken to outlying areas where they were forced to dig their own graves and then executed."

The strike followed an air raid Friday that killed three people and several bombardments the previous night that left 44 people dead around Fallujah, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad.

Doctors said women and children were among the dead, while US forces described the strikes as targeting Zarqawi safe houses.

A deadly US offensive last April in Fallujah ended in a stand-off with insurgents and transformed the volatile city into a no-go zone for American forces.

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